Recently, Chancellor George Osborne announced news to increase help to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in his Autumn Statement. He has pledged £400m to extend the Enterprise Capital Funds system and he would guarantee up to £500m of new bank lending. Both of these will be administered by the British Business Bank. The government has a target of £10 billion worth of finance for SMEs by 2017/2018 and they are on target to do it. The scheme has already been extended once and was due to finish at the end of January, it will now run until the end of January 2016. Addressing the House of Commons, the Chancellor said: “This country has succeeded in making Britain the most entrepreneurial economy in Europe”. To make sure that the UK’s growing SME’s have access to credit and help, the government will also extend the Small Business Rate relief charge as well. Other measures announced included a huge increase in research and development tax credit and a £45m package to boost exports. Exporting products and services overseas means more money is kept in the country. National insurance paid by companies for apprentices will be scrapped, Osborne said. “When a business is giving a young person a chance in life we’re going to support.” The Chancellor said the government plans to build a “powerhouse of the North”, continuing a substantial investment in rail and road improvements. £15 billion has been promised to spend on the road network. This includes new roads and repairing the roads we already have. Hopefully this includes a full bypass fix instead of the poor repairs we keep getting.

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